On the morning of June 11th, Beijing time, American truck freight operator JBHunt Transport Services and self-driving technology company Waymo announced this week that they will expand their current cooperation to jointly test supervised self-driving trucks in Houston and Texas. Cargo services between Fort Worth and Fort Worth.
At present, trucking companies are competing for drivers while testing autonomous driving technology, ultimately reducing their dependence on manual drivers.
Waymo, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, said on Thursday that its Waymo Via freight service will be delivered to JB. Hunt provides trucks equipped with autonomous driving systems. These trucks will provide freight services along Interstate 45 between Houston and Fort Worth. The two companies said that these trucks can achieve autonomous driving on highways, but the vehicles will be equipped with drivers and software technicians with driver's license. This test will be carried out within a limited time period in the future.
JB. Hunt said in the announcement that the test will provide the company with data to further understand how autonomous trucks operate in its network.
JB. Craig Harper, Hunt’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Vice President, said: “Although we believe that skilled and professional drivers will be necessary for many years to come, for JB. Hunt, as It is very important for industry leaders to participate in the development of advanced autonomous driving technologies and driving systems early to ensure safety while improving efficiency."
For the past 10 years, companies such as Waymo have been developing autonomous driving technologies for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. So far, Waymo has not launched a large-scale commercial deployment in the United States, whether it is self-driving taxis or freight trucks.
At present, trade unions are also paying attention to the development of autonomous trucks. They warned that if truck operators were allowed to replace drivers with autonomous driving technology, it could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
The two companies said this time that they are already cooperating to plan a fleet of self-driving trucks, and the pilot in Texas will prepare for a long-term cooperation plan.